Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mighty Cat

Miranda has been the cat's best friend forever. What's sad for her is that her sister and mother are allergic to animals so it's out of the question to have any at home. And, hum, animals and I aren't exactly pals if you see what I mean... Luckily for Miranda, at her dad's place, two nice cats are part of the family. To compensate, here, we have the chance to see her drawings of kitties here and there, which is cool. Notice the mouse (top right) and the funny cat watching it matter-of-factly. Too cute!

Friday, March 30, 2007

13 Things I Like About Home

2. Our huge couch
3. The colors on the walls
4. The patio made by Claude
5. Our spa style bathroom
6. The large area around the house
7. The mature trees
8. My daughters' bedrooms that express who they are
9. The flooring in the masters' bedroom
10. All the curtains in the house
11. The windows
12. The fact that lights comes from everywhere
13. The homemade furniture in the masters' bedroom

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Peace and Love

I'm working on the Culture of Peace for my "real" job. What I'm discovering is fascinating. Well, everyone knows what peace is about, right? In fact, that's my biggest surprise, I'm learning a lot more on the topic than I previously thought. I'm starting to see links between different elements that form peace. Because not being in the middle of a war doesn't mean living peacefully. There are the essential needs that need to be addressed, followed by the fact that one's desire shouldn't affect negatively the well-being of others. It is important to accomplish ourselves without exploiting others. "Where there's a man, there's manhood"... That may change. It doesn't require a lot to make a difference. When the contagion starts spreading we could see major changes. If everyone started with a daily action, we'd notice it rapidly. Feeling like starting making peace around you? Come here and make your selection!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pocket Money

Is it a good idea to give children pocket money? I think it is. We learn to manage, to deal with what we have, so if we want them to deal with money appropriately... The right time should be around when children start school. Don't wait for the notion of money to fall from somewhere or hope that they will be good consumers at once. Kids even start consuming way before school time. I believe that children who buy impulsively at the age of 6 have a chance to avoid doing that later. They will buy cheap stuff that will break after 2 minutes, cry like crazy and forget. Or, better, not forget. Remember it next time they feel like buying other cheap knick-knacks. It's when you experiment "for real" that you remember best. Giving children allowance, at first, often means letting them waste their money and talking about it afterwards. Real life for real learning!

Should you ask for anything in return? Nope, not a good idea... If chores -whatever they are- become paid jobs, you're stuck in the wrong paradigm, no one will get out of it a winner. Pocket money is a way to learn, not a salary. Of course, if there's a major situation it can be used as punishment (we're talking something exceptional) because it still is a privilege. And privileges can be lost. Avoid blackmail though, it won't serve your goal (I don't mind, I'd rather have you keep my allowance and you end up playing a very dull game).

How much? It depends on different factors: age, needs and available resources. A few years ago I received a substantial raise, my daughters received a raise as well, it was a celebration for everyone! The important thing is to evaluate and discuss this aspect with your children.

How often? If you want your children to learn to work on a budget (yes, yes, it's possible!) or plan to buy more expensive items it has to be done on a regular basis. Personally, I give it to my children the same day I receive my pay check. So every 2 weeks, on Thursday, it's allowance time. And I'm dealing with it. It's not the children who have to come see me and ask for their allowance. I am their model of reliability and it's so important...

Can children learn to buy smartly? Of course! With their money, my daughters take the time to analyze their needs (do I want it or do I need it?), check prices and quality. In fact to make pocket money a satisfying and rich experience, you need to talk with your children. You must explain taxes, hidden fees, marketing techniques -that are very aggressive- and encourage them to save (open a bank account with and for them, make sure they have their own ATM card, hey, we're in 2007!). My next experience with my daughters: manage money over the Internet and in a few years, credit cards. My my, still lots to do. Well, that's life, right?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stuffed Heart

A mother's love is supposedly unconditional. Right, but what about children's love towards their mom? I don't know about you, but personally, my daughters love me, nothing less than tremendously.
When my daughter discovered the wonderful world of sewing (am I having a certain influence here?), I received this fabric heart filled with love -bien sûr- with an embroidered "Mom" that means what it means. It's Alizée (yes, the great winner of the Radio-Canada contest Fais ton Kif-kif!) who offered me this love present a few years ago.
Isn't love wonderful? But when it comes from the flesh of your flesh, it goes straight to your heart, wets your eyes and gives you the shivers for a while. I look at this little red heart and I know. I know that our love is unconditional, both ways. I can't ask for anything better. Nothing...